Hashawha gets $1,000 for ramp

January 17, 1994|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Contributing Writer

Hashawha Environmental Center has been awarded a $1,000 grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to add a handicapped-accessible ramp to the boardwalk surrounding restored wetlands at the center.

The grant was one of 85 awarded around the state for community restoration and education projects. The Hashawha project is part of a public education program for the wetlands.

"The area was probably a wetlands before the beginning of modern agriculture," said Loren Lustig, Hashawha's director. "The restoration project was designed by the Soil Conservation District."

The wetlands area is about an acre and a half, adjacent to Lake Hashawha, the center's largest lake, Mr. Lustig said.

"It's small but strategically located for environmental education and wildlife," he said.

"The diversity of wildlife that has taken possession of the wetlands is truly fantastic."

The wetlands was restored last year with a $40,000 grant from the state Department of Natural Resources and with help from South Carroll High School science students, who directed the planting of aquatic plants and shrubs.

To give the public access to the fragile wetlands, Hashawha obtained a $4,500 grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust for the boardwalk. Additional money came from Hashawha's operating budget and the center's advisory council.

The boardwalk, nearing completion, starts at the lake parking lot and circles the wetlands to the head of the lake's dam. It is accessible from the lake parking lot.

The latest grant of $1,000 will allow the disabled accessibility to the wetlands as well.

"The wetlands is accessible, but we would like to have it be totally handicapped-accessible, so the Chesapeake Bay Trust assisted us in that effort," Mr. Lustig said.

The ramp, which will be made of pressure-treated wood to match the boardwalk, will be built by the barn near the wetlands.

The barn is being renovated into a wetlands education classroom, Mr. Lustig said.

l "The barn is an in-house project that the Hashawha staff is doing," he said.

"When the ramp is finished, there will be signs directing people from the main access road to the barn, where they can pick up the handicapped access ramp."

Mr. Lustig expects work to begin on the ramp about mid-March and be completed around July 1. For now, most outside work has been halted until the end of winter.

"We're trying to juggle a whole group of projects and make as much progress as we can," Mr. Lustig said.

Hashawha Environmental Center is at 300 John Owings Road, several miles north of Westminster off Route 97.

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